The Vologda Oblast is a highly-developed industrial region, which has a network of transport and energy infrastructure, stable ratings of investment attractiveness and solvency. The basis of Vologda industry is made up of 300 large- and medium-sized enterprises and about 550 small businesses.
Leading activities of industrial production are: metallurgical production and production of finished metal products, chemical production, production of machinery and equipment, wood processing and manufacture of wood products, as well as food production.
In terms of volume of shipped industrial products per capita the Vologda Oblast takes the 18th place in Russia and 6th in Russia's North-West. Industry (including extractive industry, manufacturing industry and production and distribution of electric power, gas and water) is the major employer and the largest sector of the oblast's economy. In January-November 2019 volume of shipped industrial products per capita (RUR 582,600) exceeded the average Russian level by 35,1%.
The industrial production index of the Vologda Region in 2019 was 101,9 % to previous year's volume, 102.0% in manufacturing.
The main metallurgical enterprises of the region are PAO Severstal and OAO Severstal-Metiz. The sector is export-oriented: its products have a market in the USA, China, Korea, Thailand, and Portugal. Chemicals and mineral fertilizers are manufactured mostly by Apatit. Development of glass industry is another important branch of industry. Light industry is represented mostly by flax processing enterprises, flax spinning factories, a lace-producing firm Snezhinka (Vologda) and linen enterprises.
Index of industrial production in 2019, % to 2018
Some glimpses of history
In the eleventh century local industry in what is now the Vologda Oblast was much the same as it had been throughout the last millennium. Iron smelting, in particular, had been carried on since the end of the first century A. D.
Ship building which started in the reign of Ivan the Terrible really took off under the influence of Peter the Great. Demand for timber for ship building continued to grow and in the eighteenth century "saw mills" were set up in three districts of the oblast initiating wood-working industry development.
The merchant Vitushnikov may be considered the father of the confectionery trade. It was he who started to manufacture refined sugar from imported raw materials at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Vologda's history is also the story of many exceptional men and women. This is the case also with the Vologda butter trade that was built up from scratch and rapidly turned into a flourishing industry. A Vologda-born Nikolai Vereshchagin, the then most influential Russian dairy expert, is considered the founder of modern Russian dairy farming. He had a talent for organizing that enriched the Russian language with the notion of "Vologda Butter."
Another merchant Yakov Gribanov, who in 1859 bought a flax weaving mill from P. Luirs in Krasavino near Veliky Ustyug, organized his business in such a way that "Gribanov's cloth" was in great demand throughout Russia. Gribanov's traditions are continued by joint stock companies Severlyon and Vologda Flax Mill.